Ecclesiastes 3:16-22

Are people like animals?

16 I saw something else that happens on the earth.

Judges should choose what is right,

but instead they choose what is wicked.

They should decide what is fair,

but they do evil things.

17 I said to myself,

‘One day, God will judge everyone,

righteous people and wicked people.

He has chosen a time for everything.

So there is a right time when he will judge people.’

18 I also thought, ‘God wants people to know that they are like animals. That is why he tests us. 19 The same thing happens to humans as happens to animals. We all breathe for a time and then we die. Humans are no different to animals. Life has no purpose. 20 All living things finally go to the same place. We all come from the dust of the ground. And we all go back to the dust when we die. 21 Do the spirits of humans go up into the sky when we die? Do the spirits of animals go down into the ground? Nobody really knows.’

3:20See Genesis 3:19.
3:21The Hebrew word for ‘spirit’ can also mean ‘breath’. The Teacher says more about this in Ecclesiastes 12:7.

22 So I realized that people should enjoy the work that they do. That is the best thing for us to do. It is what God has provided for us. I think that is best, because nobody can show us what will finally happen to us.